2022 Spring Concert Brings Music and Memories For All


Orchestra Performance, Conducted by Mr. Lemma

Hannah Shin

On June 7th, BCA’s Spring Concert showcased talented student musicians who performed music of many different genres. From Star Wars to percussion on garbage cans to Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances, the Spring Concert was an exciting performance for all.

In just one hour and twenty minutes, six different ensembles played a variety of musical pieces in the concert. Mr. Lemma, the music director at BCA, said, “Each ensemble, and actually each song, really has something unique about it that makes me look forward to it.”

With a wide range of pieces played at the concert, much preparation was needed.  “[The preparation for the concert] starts on the first day of the trimester,” said Mr. Lemma. “In addition to the obvious, which is working on the music and making sure the students stay on track…there’s coordinating with the administration, the auditorium staff, and Mr. Isecke. There’s also creating the program, and doing all the marketing and advertising so people are aware of the concert.”

The hard work of both the music teachers and students certainly paid off. With a successful turnout, the concert opened at 7:00 p.m. sharp with the Jazz Band. Among the lively pieces played was one piece organized solely by the Senior Class of 2022 members: I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. 

Jazz Band: Senior Performance

“They just made [I Will Survive] so celebratory and fun, and spent a lot of time outside of class putting it together. And for that, I look forward to it because of the initiative of the kids,” said Mr. Lemma. It was quite the sight to see the seniors triumphantly line up at the front of the stage and play their symbolic piece, which was a message that they will survive in college.

The seniors’ talent continued to shine in the Concert Band performance, where AVPA-M seniors Katherine Kim and Nicholas Del Rosso conducted the first two pieces with skill. Of the repertoire played, the Concert Band’s selection of Star Wars and You’re Welcome from Moana brought about a light and whimsy atmosphere to the concert. 

Concert Band’s Star Wars, Conducted by Katherine Kim

Christine Seo, the second chair flutist in Concert Band, had something else to add about the piece selection. “We chose these songs mainly because of the PPO picnic. They needed to be lively.” 

The Concert Band, which performs in multiple events at BCA including graduation and the PPO picnic, chose fun and recognizable songs for the audience to enjoy. However, they also performed a beautiful adaptation of The Girl with the Flaxen Hair by Debussy.

Around the middle of the concert came a stunning string performance from violinist Ensley Kim and cellist Michelle Kwon. The accomplished duo played Passacaglia by Handel and Halvorsen, which is “the most famous violin and cello duet,” according to Ensley. 

Ensley Kim & Michelle Kwon perform Passacaglia by Handel-Halvorsen


With all of the technical skill, communication, and memorization required throughout the piece, it was shocking to hear the small amount of time that Ensley and Michelle spent practicing together. “We met three times so far, and we’ve been playing it for less than a month,” said Michelle. 

Mr. Lemma was also impressed. “The amount of talent in there and how they memorized [Passacaglia] to me is hugely impressive – not only to me but to the other people that heard it.” 

It is exciting to see what the talented duo will accomplish in the future. Ensley will be attending the Juilliard College in the fall, while Michelle will continue to attend the Juilliard Pre-College program.

Not only were there traditional ensembles such as Concert Band and the string duo in the performance, but other unique ensembles such as the Guitar and Mandolin Orchestra were very enjoyable to listen to. “We worked all year to edit the music together, make changes, and add fingerings and some special effects,” said Mr. Lemma as he explained the repertoire of the Guitar and Mandolin Orchestra. 

The unique performances continued on with the Percussion Ensemble, who played a piece on garbage cans. The piece was demanding of intricate rhythms that were played on certain parts of the garbage cans, making it quite complex. Nevertheless, five talented students memorized the piece and played it with great skill at the concert.

Percussion Ensemble performs on trash cans

Last but not least came the orchestra, the largest musical ensemble in the concert. The orchestra played three contrasting pieces, two of which included Tarantella, a fast Italian dance by Rossini, and Slavonic Dance Op. 72 No. 2 by Dvoraka well-known slower piece of the classical world. The contrast between the exciting Tarantella and the melancholic Slavonic Dance showed the skills of both the conductor, Mr. Lemma, and the orchestra.

Orchestra: Tuning before the performance

“I was just looking forward to the full sound – the beautiful tone – that the orchestra would make. It sounded like one sound, rather than a collection of winds, and strings, and percussion,” he said.

The concert ended in a subtle yet graceful way, when the orchestra played In a Gentle Rain by Robert W. Smith. “The piece itself imitates the sound of a gentle rainfall by having the students snap their fingers in unison,”Mr. Lemma said. “When you add so many people together, it gives that feeling of the plopping of rainfall.” Indeed, the rain effect reached the entire audience and created a clever effect. 

The last sounds that resonated throughout the auditorium were AVPA-M Senior Nicholas Del Rosso’s solo trumpet, the plucking of a harp played by sophomore Madison Darnaby, and the snapping fingers of the orchestra. The ethereal sound created was a gentle and beautiful way to end a night full of music. 

The Spring Concert was most definitely a momentous night full of great music and memories for all. Congratulations to all of the musicians, Mr. Lemma, and Mr. Isecke for a wonderful night of music!